"So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God , who makes things grow." - 1 Corinthians 3:7
My mom used to have sunflowers the size of table chargers and a garden full of the most beautiful array of vegetables you've ever seen. Back then, I treasured the days I could spend hours outside. Boy have things changed, haven't they?
My fingers were blackened with dirt - evidence of my home away from home: my dirt hole. Where an old shed once stood, now contained my "home", complete with couch, table, & bed. I would hop to the garden, pull out a bright orange carrot dusted in rich, dark soil, & carry it back to my little dirt home to eat at my makeshift table of pounded mud, chiseled with the utmost care from a sharp stick.
I thought my mom was amazing for growing what seemed to me, to be little jewels of the earth. But, my mom didn't make those vegetables grow. All she could do was provide the right environment for growth, and trust in the miracle of life to produce the results.
As Christians, we can create goals & a plan, but in contrast to the world's way of thinking, the results, the increase, the fruits are up to the Lord.
Sometimes we find ourselves frustrated because we want the increase to happen now. But we have to learn to be content with whatever the Lord is calling us to do: sometimes that's a season of planting and sometimes it's a season of watering.
Waiting is hard, especially in a now, now, now society. Especially in a world that tells us our increase is a result of our own hard work.
So what can we do while we wait?
Pray. Plan. Execute.
Even though the increase is up to the Lord, it doesn't mean we shouldn't plan or set goals. We should still make an effort to grow & mature.
What if I were to ask to see your growth plan? What would you tell me?
A growth plan is a plan for expansion. To increase in amount, value, or importance, you have to know how you're gonna get there.
My mom didn't just stick a bunch of seeds in the ground. She had to choose her garden spot - a place that would give the vegetables the sunlight they need. She had to cultivate the soil - tilling it up to prepare it for planting. She had to analyze the soil to make sure it was healthy enough for seeds to grow in. She had to organize her garden by vegetable type and place labels in the dirt so she knew what was growing.
What do you think would have happened, if she would have just thrown the seeds down onto the ground? Anything?
That's what many new business owners do. They sit down, start typing, hit publish, and hope for the best. But, the results are dismal because that strategy is a lot like throwin' seeds down on the ground without preparing the soil for growth.
So let's prepare your soil the right way. Ready?
A growth plan should contain, at a minimum, the following 5 elements.
Value proposition is that MAGIC ELIXER that sets you apart from others. How will your value be delivered to your customer? Why should people do business with you instead of someone else?
Think about your answers to the following:
You should be able to say, "I'm ______ and I help ________(who) do _______(what).
Why is this important? If you don't know what you do or who you help, the people you're serving aren't going to either!
If my mom hadn't thought about the types of fruits and vegetables she wanted to eat from her garden, she would have been lost at the seed store. Instead of actually making a purchase, she would have gone up and down the aisles over and over and over again.
Isn't that a funny picture? But that's what you're doing when you don't set goals. Goals help you stay on course so you're not like a dog chasing squirrels. They also help you save time because anything that doesn't help you reach that goal can be given a big fat "no thanks".
Think about the end result. Choose your seeds & head to the checkout!
If you've been around the online marketplace longer than two days, you've probably seen a PLETHORA of growth strategies. Just when you think you've found the secret sauce, another ad pops up in your Facebook feed claiming they have a better strategy, an easier strategy, a unique strategy.
The truth is: One strategy isn't MAGIC.
So, here's your permission: Choose ONE and STICK WITH IT!
Once you choose a strategy for business growth, you have to determine the steps you're going to take to use this strategy effectively. The worst thing you can do is just start flinging seeds everywhere - content and products, and services, OH MY!
This might look like the customer experience you want to provide. What is the first step you want a reader to experience with your brand? Is it to download a juicy freebie?
Is it to watch a particular video?
Is it to join your Facebook group?
Is it to "follow" you on Instagram?
Is it to watch your webinar?
You have to be able to spell out the steps to your target audience. So if you don't even know where you're sending them, neither do they.
After you've determined your strategy and steps to plant your readers into the customer experience with your brand, you want to analyze the results. This is so important!
What new business owners generally do is change their strategy when what they really need to do, is tweak their strategy. This makes the difference between a new business owner who finds themselves burned out and one who perseveres and reaches their goal.
If you saw a vegetable plant drying out, wouldn't you want to give it some water?
If you never looked out the window or checked on your plants, what would happen? They'd die, right!?
You have to look at what's working and what's not working with your strategy and make adjustments.
Do NOT give up. Master your strategy!!
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